Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Richmond Half Marathon week 3 training

This morning was beautiful outside! I met Sarah for a run and we did just under 4 with our running to our meetings spot and back. We were both sore from our eight mile long run this Saturday, which we did amazingly! This cooler weather just makes running so much more enjoyable. Compared to our ultra hot Sahara long run the prior week--this felt doable. And we picked up a friend on the run who was running that morning for the half training. We call it mommy happy hour in the morning because so many moms are out running.

We had a great run though and it was nice to be outside after running on the treadmill yesterday. I started with zero motivation and did two of my surefire tips for more motivation.

Look at someone else running 

1. Pinterest motivation

Listen to some tunes

2. Workout songs
I love "Compass" and "All Night" for running -  I think it must help my cadence because they are perfect tempo run songs.

We have a full week this week. Ryder has preschool today and I get to help the girls at school. So excited to have some time to volunteer now that Ryder is in preschool (and he loves it!). And Brandon's parents are coming from Michigan on Thursday so the kids are excited to see them.

How adorable are these toasts for after school snacks? Since toast is the "new" thing or the "tip of the hipster spear." I thought they were super cute and healthy and that the girls would eat them up. Literally.

And I am fixing the comment section on the blog!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday!

A funny story...In high school I used to do announcements sometimes and my cousin Amber and I would do our "It's Friday!!!" cheer over the announcements. I can't believe they let us do pretty much whatever we wanted and we always tried to make it creative.

This weekend we are doing loads of house things and going swimming as a family activity since school has started. We are trying to be intentional about carving out family time since Ava is at gymnastics three times per week and Sophie is at dance on Mondays. Wednesdays are our only free nights during the week and Ava has vision therapy so we are finding our happy spot with scheduling.

It's Friday favorites day.

Chocolate popsicles 

We use Kroger organic chocolate milk (only one we like for this!) and add to popsicle molds. The girls and Ryder have been loving these for breakfast and I love them after a long hot run on Saturdays. They are loads healthier than store bought popsicles and only have a couple of ingredients.  I purchased the molds on Amazon. I made some chai popsicles too here. 


So I would love to put this in the kids' room or bathroom. It's super cute with a great message. And only $12! 

You Make me Feel Like Dancing print

I love this print and want to put it down in our living room that we are going to paint white and freshen up. Going with a white living room with current red carpet and painting our fireplace white. Fun household things coming up! This print is only $16.68! A huge one is $40. 

A cute way to add sparkle to family budget meetings

Money makeover worksheets. Genius for only $4.50! And they are downloads. 

And for the fifth Friday favorite, can we just say goodbye to summer? 

Sniff Sniff. 

Pottery Barn swim cover up and towel sale

Pottery Barn is having a sale on swim cover ups and towels (40 percent off). I always stock up now on towels for next year so I don't have to pay full price. And I love their towels because their cotton color doesn't come off the kids while they are swimming (happened before on other towels.) This is a great Christmas gift idea too with the monogram detail. 

I really miss our pool times and hanging out with the girls when they are here in the morning. School has been an adjustment and we love having them home! It's starting to be fun to have just Ryder time though. There is just something about the lazy days of summer and relaxing in our bed watching movies and eating toast and juice. 

Happy Friday! It's 72 and 0 humidity. Blissful. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Double chocolate banana muffins aka "sportsy muffins" or "after school muffins" or "freeze those babies muffins"

Yesterday at school pickup I had the whole crew on board. Ellie from carpool for gymnastics and Ava, Sophie and Ryder.

I made some yummy, but healthy pumpkin muffins that had only 1/4 cup of oil in them. Well, I loved them, but their molasses taste turned off most of the kids, except for Ava. None of them would eat them! I think the molasses made the muffins brown so they were expecting chocolate.

Ha. I had to laugh, because as a fellow chocolate lover I understand. So today I was really hungry for somewhat healthy, but tasty chocolate muffins.

I made my usual favorite banana muffins that I adapted from Martha (she uses sour cream and a little less bananas) and added some hershey's chocolate and chocolate chips at the end to top the muffins while they baked.

I died. They were the best muffins I have ever made, except ones that were made to be cupcakes! So good and great for after sports, or running since they have bananas and whole milk yogurt. And my UV lens broke on the first day of school while I was running home to get Sophie's kindergarten sticker with her bus route on it so pardon the light in the photos.

The light might be bright on this photo, but when you are done with scooping the batter into the muffin tins, top with chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. I had a little of both so I just used both. 

To die for. My mom gave me this plate about 10 years ago! 

Decadent chocolate that isn't all that bad for you! 

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins 
Adapted from Martha Stewart 

Makes I large loaf or 12 muffins

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 cup of sugar (you can use less, but it might affect the recipe)
2 eggs 
1/3 cup hershey cocoa
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur)
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup of very mashed ripe bananas (I used 2 bananas)
1/2 cup of whole milk plain yogurt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350. Butter the muffin pan with the butter wrapper you will use for the one stick of butter. 

With an electric mixer, cream the butter (room temp) and sugar until light and fluffy. Add room temp eggs beating well. Add hershey's cocoa.  

Add dry ingredients together and whisk (I don't sift) together and combine with butter mixture. Blend well. Add bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Stir well. Top with chocolate chips. 

Bake until your shish kabob stick is clean :). Cool on an oven rack. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Menu monday!

Good morning you all!
Today is a cooler rainy Monday in Richmond. The leaves are starting to fall and colors like rust and reds are littering our driveway. :)

We are excited to start a full week of school and Ryder had his orientation today. He did so great. He was so pumped to walk into his preschool "2's" class and find his bin and play with the cars and train table. He will go on Tuesday and Thursdays for about three hours.

For the first time in 7.5 years I will have 3 hours a day to myself! I am going to have an opportunity to volunteer at school for the girls and to attend Thrive at church. I also want to start painting the girls' room and our white trim and the living room! Whew! Maybe a little too overarching, but I am excited.

Do you ever get in a meal planning slump? I love these two recipes from GOOP and Smitten Kitchen. They look healthy and amazing.


Fried Green Tomato-Cilantro Relish


makes 2 cups

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ½ pounds green tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add the slices of green tomato in a single layer and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a plate.
2. When all the tomatoes are fried, add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then add the onions and garlic and cook over low heat until the onions are translucent and soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Finely chop the fried tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Toss in the onion and garlic, add the cilantro, mustard, vinegar, sugar, fennel, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mix thoroughly. The relish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Smitten Kitchen's adaptation of GOOP's Carrot ginger dressing recipe. 

avocado salad with carrot-ginger

This weekend I ran a very hot 6 miles with Sarah and it was intense. At the end, we just dowsed our head with ice water it was so hot. We are in week two of training for the Richmond Half Marathon in November. This weekend we do 6-7 miles for our long run and are doing 4-5 miles during the week on Tuesday/Thursday at 6 am. I love having my runs done by 7 and just need to get some strength training in at the gym on cross train days. Our goal is really to get to the race uninjured and feeling ready to kick some butt.: )

If you are dozy (yes, I made that word up) today with the rain and want to schluff off work, read about when Smitten Kitchen visited the Pioneer Woman. So cool. It's like the cool girls cooking club that I want to join. :)

Oh, how I would love to have Smitten Kitchen in my kitchen and the Pioneer Woman's amazing kitchen and pantry. It's half of the reason why I watch her show on Food Network!

Any long runs in for you this week? Any new menu items?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to School Time!

I can't even believe we now have a second grader and a kindergartner. The girls have had such a great first week at Bettie Weaver. Since the weather was 97 (!) on the first day of school, I had to go shopping for one more dress for Sophie since she had warmer dresses.

Sophie was very timid going on the bus, but Ava gave her a little push and she found a seat in the front with the other kindergartners. There were some tears from me as I watched her go into the bright yellow bus for a whole day of school.

Today is pizza day so they are excited to buy lunch.

Have a great weekend! We have a slumber party and a relaxing weekend at home to catch up on house things.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Powhatan 4 miler race review

Sarah and I have been getting our base mileage up this summer to run the Richmond Half Marathon in the fall. We are busy and moms so races are sometimes hard to plan.

So when I came across a race that was $14 (with the t-shirt!), we were like, "Heck Yeah!" If you registered that day it was $20 and you didn't get a shirt.

I left here around 6:40 am to pick up Sarah and we arrived at the Powhatan YMCA in plenty of time to register and drink some gatorade since it was pretty humid (88 percent).

At 8 am the race director had everyone walk down a hill (first sign of hilly course) to the finish line that was at the bottom of a hill. This race was old school and we waited until the gun went off to start.

The first two or three miles went through Powhatan and the courthouse and then led you to the trail. I felt pretty great on the first couple of miles and was going 9:22 pace to save some for the end sprint. However, I didn't realize the last 1.3 miles of trails were so hilly! With the humid weather you were left sucking wind as hill after hill came up. Sarah told me at the top of one of them, "What comes up will go down!" And I told her that I thought we were going to just be going downhill the whole time. I guess I was wrong! :)

Sarah pulled ahead and went and I was struggling to breath at the top of one hill. I took a deep breath and went toward the finish line. At the finish line they had a finish chute and people taking your race tabs to tabulate winners.

I was just glad to be done! I finished with a 9:27 pace and Sarah finished ahead of me.

A great race with great local runners that showed up to supper the YMCA.

We both loved it! And it got us ready for the Richmond Half Marathon!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend in photos

Sophie went to her friend Liam's water birthday party and had a great time. 

She was very excited to see her preschool friends again. 

After we picked up Sophie, we went on a historical Richmond and Bottoms Up Pizza  trip. We saw the old Confederate Navy Yard and the canal street locks. 

Sophie's friend Maggie invited her to do the ALS ice bucket challenge so Ava dumped water on her head. They love doing this now after watching Facebook videos. 

Ryder helped Ava out. 

Ava wasn't nominated, but wanted to do it anyway. 

We wanted to hit the pool yesterday, but the weather was still a little chilly so we played in the water table and hose in the yard. It was so fun. 

Sad to say goodbye to summer for sure. 

My little blondie 

My little ornery blondie 

Last night we came home and looked outside and a whole family of deer was in the front lawn.

Tomorrow I am posting one of my favorite kid-friendly recipes -- Giada's Fruit Leather. Fruit leather is extremely good and expensive. One strip in the store was 80 cents! I made probably 15 strips for only the cost of a pound of strawberries. And it is so good.

Have a great week! I know we can't wait for our last week of summer before school starts next Tuesday. The weather looks beautiful after the cloudy depressing days we have been having!!